Motorist sentenced to four years

WARREN – A 27-year-old man who was charged with a hit-skip accident New Year’s Day that seriously injured a 46-year-old man on a bicycle was ordered to serve to four years in prison Thursday on a probation violation.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice followed a recommendation from a probation officer to revoke the probation of Marcel Tipton, who has addresses in Niles, Warren and Akron and who still faces charges of tampering with evidence and failure to stop after an accident with injuries from the recent pedestrian accident.

Assistant county prosecutor Michael Burnett said he expects to present the most recent charges against Tipton to a grand jury even though Tipton will begin serving the four-year sentence on the probation violation.

Tipton has pleaded not guilty in Warren Municipal Court to the two felony charges connected to the accident.

He is accused of driving the 2000 beige-colored Lincoln Town Car that struck Harold Rice of Scott Street N.E., who was hospitalized after he was struck at the intersection of Summit and Tod Avenue N.W.

A police report indicated that Harold Rice was pedaling south on Tod, and the car was southbound on Summit when the bike pulled into the path of the car and was hit. The car drove away.

The bicycle was found 150 feet away from where he was lying, according to reports. His shoes and a license plate were found near where Harold Rice was struck, police said.

Harold Rice was also tested to have consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol to operate a vehicle.

Police found the car three days after the accident at a vacant York Street home. A neighbor called 911 about the abandoned car. Officers towed the car and began processing it. A woman who owns the car said that Tipton had borrowed it, police said.

Tipton meanwhile was placed on probation in April of 2010 after pleading guilty to a charge of failure to comply and receiving stolen property. Those are the charges that Judge Rice sentenced him on.

His probation was violated the first time in August of 2010 when he was ordered by the court to enter and complete a program in the Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program.

Tipton also was found shot in September on Burton Street S.E. Reports indicated Tipton argued with a man who confronted him before suffering the gunshots to an arm and his abdomen. No one was ever charged with the shooting.